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Wednesday Night Rivalry

Red Wings, Rangers set for Wednesday Night Rivalry

Chris Kreider, Mike Green among reasons to watch Original Six matchup

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

The Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers entered the NHL together in 1926. They'll play for the 585th time in the regular season when they face off at Madison Square Garden in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).

Each of these Original Six teams is coming off a win at home Monday. Detroit opened its final season at Joe Louis Arena by defeating the Ottawa Senators 5-1, and the Rangers defeated the San Jose Sharks 7-4 at the Garden.

Here are 5 reasons to watch the Red Wings play the Rangers:

 
Kreider steps up

The Rangers have been waiting for a breakout season from forward Chris Kreider, the No. 19 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. He's had 21 goals in each of the past two seasons but wasn't able to put his combination of size (6-foot-3, 228 pounds), speed and skill together on a consistent basis. However, if the start of this season is any indication, Kreider is taking a major step forward. He had a goal and an assist in each of New York's first three games, and is the first Rangers player to earn six points in the first three games of a season since defenseman Brian Leetch in 1992-93. Krieder's three-game goal streak is a career high, and at age 25 he looks like he's ready for the biggest season of his NHL career.

Video: SJS@NYR: Kreider wrists in PPG from left circle

 
Hats off to Green

The Red Wings had gone nearly six years without a hat trick by a defenseman. That ended Monday when Mike Green scored three goals in a game for the first time in his NHL career (652 games). After being urged by coach Jeff Blashill to shoot more, Green had two goals in the first period, then drew a cascade of hats when he scored with 6:36 remaining in the third for what he said was the first three-goal game he's had at any level of hockey. Before Green, the last Red Wings defenseman to score three times in a game was Hockey Hall of Fame member Nicklas Lidstrom on Dec. 15, 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Video: OTT@DET: Mike Green records first career hat trick

 
Hot start for new line

Blashill has juggled his lines during the Red Wings' first three games with one exception; the trio of Darren Helm between Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist has remained intact. Vanek, signed as a free agent on July 1, is off to a fast start with two goals and three assists. Helm, whose NHL career high in goals is 15 set in 2014-15, has three goals and four points. Nyquist has three assists, giving the line 12 points in three games.

Video: DET@TBL: Vanek puts Red Wings up early on power play

 
Garden party

The Rangers have won their first two games at Madison Square Garden this season and are 29-10-4 on home ice since the start of last season. They've also had a lot of success against the Red Wings at MSG, going 6-0-0 at home against Detroit since the start of the 2011-12 season to improve to 140-94-58-0 all-time. Detroit is looking for its first road win of the season after losses to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.

 
Bonus hockey

If history is any indicator, there's a good chance this game will need more than 60 minutes to determine a winner. Six of the past 10 games between the Red Wings and Rangers were decided in overtime, including two of three last season. Not surprisingly, each of the past six games between the teams (and 13 of the past 15 since the 2005-06 season) were one-goal games.

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